J.J. Abrams just announced he has wrapped up filming for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and how it was ‘an amazing experience making this movie’. With just a teaser of a mysterious new Sith and the Millennium Falcon barrel rolling to hold fans over until the official trailer, one can only speculate how Abram’s take on the iconic saga will look like.
Thankfully, to appease our curiosity and trigger our nostalgic sense, photographs have recently emerged of artists working on the background settings of the original Star Wars trilogy, specifically scenery paintings of Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
The on-set photos show artists Ralph Mcquarrie, Chris Evans and Michale Pangrazio bringing to life George Lucas’s galaxies and planets, capturing the mystical forests of Endor and the surface details of the unfinished Death Star.
It is impressive to realize that most, if not all, of the incredible backgrounds in the Star Wars movie were matte paintings.
Star Wars movie fans are both intrigued and wary of the beginning of a new Star Wars story in the hands of a new director and in a completely different age of CGI and green screen. Still, it’s impressive to look back thirty years and see the work that went into creating a universe that is constantly referenced and set the standards for future space movies, with nothing more than brushes, matte painting and talented hands.